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The Broncos move to Paxton Lynch is about rebuilding, not tanking

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The idea that Denver should tank the season is off base. Giving Lynch the start is the beginning of a rebuilding process, whether he is a part of it, or not.

NFL: Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are moving forward. 2017 has turned into a dismal year. Now, at 3-7, which direction should the team turn. New offensive coordinator - check. New quarterback (again) - check. Paxton Lynch is getting the start. It is time to hit the reset button.

Should Broncos Country embrace the tank, or is there still fight left in the team? As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the Mile High Report Radio podcast, the Denver Broncos must make some major decisions about the team, and now is the time.

First, the idea of tanking may not be the right way to phrase it. Imagine going into a locker room filled with a group of prideful men and telling them to maybe not give full effort. If Derek Wolfe going to ease up? Will Emmanuel Sanders stop working? Aqib Talib? Von Miller? Matt Paradis? The notion of telling a professional team to stop trying is an insane level of absurdity. Never going to happen.

Rule that option out. For all the talk of losing the locker room, that is a sure fire way to put an end to that argument. Locker room lost (if it isn’t already gone). However, there is a better way to look at it. If the Denver Broncos are really facing the prospect of not contending in 2017, it is time to set the team up for 2018, and beyond.

Let’s not call it tanking. Call it a rebuild. There is nothing wrong with a franchise examining where the damage is, and making repairs. How does the rebuild start? With the quarterback. Yes, the topic of quarterback in Denver is tired, but until it is settled, it is the only thing worth talking about.

Playing Paxton Lynch the rest of the season is a great start. Brock Osweiler was a slight improvement over Trevor Siemian, but the Broncos still got blown out by the league’s elite teams. Lynch is healthy, and the team has determined that the playoffs might be out of reach, so now is the right time to make the switch.

Maybe the team implodes, they lose every game the rest of the way, and they get a top 5 draft pick. Or… Lynch shows that he is actually as talented as John Elway thought when he drafted him. Either scenario sets up the Denver Broncos for long term success. Lynch completely collapses, and the Broncos can start looking for a new QB. Lynch plays well, and the rebuild can focus on the offensive line. That looks like a win-win scenario, even if it isn’t a win this season strategy.

The second step in the rebuild would have to be a full re-evaluation of the coaching staff. Mike McCoy has been fired. A first step. Is Vance Joseph really a leader of men, or just another Elway “yes man?” Is Bill Musgrave truly a QB-whisperer? Is the defense better or worse for the move to Joe Woods. All things must be considered.

Finally, the team will need to re-examine its commitment to certain players. The contracts that cripple the team in free agency may need to go. Players like Von Miller are untouchable in this scenario, but everyone else is expendable. It would likely come down to offloading a couple big contracts. Maybe Demaryius Thomas or Sanders. Possibly Talib. The bottom line, the roster will need shuffling to make the team better.

Invariably, again, this all falls to what the Denver Broncos have, or don’t have, at quarterback. The only way to find out is to play Paxton Lynch. He is the only true unknown commodity. If this works out, the Broncos are set up for the future. If it doesn’t, the Broncos know it and can make the necessary moves in the offseason.

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